Thursday, December 31, 2015
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
For dessert its fresh homemade fruit compote. Your choice of fruit, but I chose:
1 pear ripened
2 peaches ripened
3 black apricots soft and ripened
Friday, December 25, 2015
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
We all know that salmon is good for us. It is an oily, fatty fish that is a great source of the so called “good” fat or omega 3. It is also a good source of calcium and vitamin D. But, buyers beware when it comes to salmon because not all salmon is alike.
When choosing salmon you should always pick wild salmon over farm raised salmon. The main reason is that farm raised salmon is upwards of 8 times more toxic than wild salmon due to the confinement of the salmon, the feeding and general living conditions. The Seafood Watch Guide strongly advises against eating farm raised salmon and suggest the best salmon to eat is wild Alaska salmon.
Ordinarily, I would say that eating wild Alaska Salmon is the best, but my experience is slightly different. I was raised in the outdoors of Maine. Much like Alaska people in Maine hunt, fish and gather local food for consumption. That means that food is usually consumed in season, fresh and local. My parents owned two homes. One on the ocean and one in-land near the lakes and streams. My father would fish for salmon and when caught we would have salmon fresh from the pure waters of New England for dinner that night. The taste and the texture was something you have to experience for yourself. To me caught fresh and cooked immediately is the only way fish should taste.
Times have changed and I now live in the City. However, I still eat wild Salmon and prefer it from the colder waters of Canada or Alaska. Wild Alaska Salmon may not be fresh from the water to the pan, but it is a better choice than farm raised.
I like my salmon poached with a side of dill weed and dill sauce. Dill weed is an herb that is an excellent source of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and C and zinc, folate and calcium, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals.
Dill has all the characteristics to be consideredt as one of the most valuable functional foods. 100 g of dill weed provides only 43 calories, but its nutritional profile holds its own against other high calorie food source such as nuts, cereals and the meat group.
So when it comes to health step to the wild side and ask for Alaska wild salmon and a side of weed! Dill weed –that is!
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Of all the fruits I love to smell, fresh ripe peaches are the best. I love the sweet, but tart smell that can only be described when you taste the succulent juicy flesh. When I was young peaches were a delicacy that only appeared for a short time in the summer. Today you can purchase peaches anytime and from most anywhere. However, there is a big difference between peaches that are in season and peaches that are imported from somewhere else, which are usually hard and mealy because they were picked before they had a chance to ripen. I like my fruit in season and local. It makes a big difference in the taste and the quality. Humans evolved eating local foods that were vine ripened. As a naturopath I would always advice eating as fresh and as local as possible.
Peaches are a great source of many vitamins and minerals including a great source of potassium. A shortage of potassium has been associated with fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, muscle soreness and poor memory, as well as heart issues.
Peaches are also a good source of fiber. They help to keep the intestinal system clean by providing a mild laxative effect. And because peaches are about 80 percent water and a good source of fiber they can be effective when it comes to losing weight. What’s not to love here?
Peaches originated in China. The Chinese place great nutritional and magical significance to peaches. They are an ancient symbol of fertility. The peach is a symbol of an omen, signifying good luck, abundance and protection. The fruit is believed to offer immortality, or at least a long life. Eating peaches is good for your health and good health insures a long life. I’m loving this fruit!
Peach blossoms mean generosity and bridal hope. She’s a real peach means she’s a very sweet girl and what a peach means what a good “looker”. It was by a peach tree that the protagonist of the Tale of Kieu fell in love. Ah, love…
The peach has become a word to signify someone we love, something sweet, something tender and something beautiful? With it’s beautiful pink blossoms turning into a succulent fruit that is not only good for your health, but also a symbol of love, is it any wonder that Steve Miller Band sang to my heart as they penned the lyrics,” I really love your peaches, let me shake your tree.”
Saturday, December 05, 2015
We cannot stop radical ways of thinking, but we can through yoga begin to see the world as embedded and connected to the universal energy of spirit. When we see the world this way we transcend the separateness of the ego. We cannot stop the violence in the world. But we can each of us do our part to bring peace by not doing physical harm, not using words that hurt and by mastering our thoughts, moods and attitudes. Just practice compassion and understanding. Remember we are all connected to the universal spiritual energy of life. Harm one you will harm all. Do no harm.
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Balsamic vinegar can make even a non-Italian smile. Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite ways to dress up salads, vegetables and fruit. It’s low in calories and high in health. It taste good and adds a zip to most foods. I repeat; it taste good and is low in calories. Are you smiling? Feeling happy?
True balsamic vinegar is not really vinegar. Rather it is made from the pressing of two grapes, Trebbiano and Lambrusco, resulting in a thick syrup that is aged for a minimum of 12 years. The syrup is aged in different types of barrels such as oak, acacia, chestnut, cherry, mulberry, ash and sometime juniper. Traditional balsamic vinegar comes for either Reggio Emilia or Modena Italy. Different ages of vinegars carry different labels.
The flavor intensifies over the years, with the vinegar becoming sweet and very concentrated. During this period a small portion of the liquid evaporates. It is said this is the “angels” share. Somehow that conjures up happy thoughts in my head.
My two favorite balsamic vinegars are Elsa which is great for salads, meats and vegetables and Riserva di Famiglia which is good also for salads, but is a little sweet so works great on fruit with a little cheese. Both are quite expensive, but well worth the cost. You only use a small amount so they last a long time. Once you have tried these balsamics you will never go back to commercial vinegars again.
I promise these little gems will not only make your taste buds happy, but they are also good for your health. Balsamic vinegar boosts the activity of pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down protein into small amino acids that can be easily absorbed by the body. Pepsin helps to improve the body’s metabolism as well. Balsamic vinegar improves insulin sensitivity, allowing for easier regulation of blood sugar.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Just the way we like it! Buratta cheese is Italy’s answer to rich, sweet and ever so delicious calcium enriched sexy cheese. Buratta cheese is one of my favorite cheeses and something that we often enjoy as the main course for a light and healthy dinner.
Burrata is not mozzarella. It is in fact a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, but is its own cheese. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, making the inside soft and creamy. The name burratta means “butter “ in Italian so it is often referred to as butter cheese. Buratta cheese can be made from either water buffalo milk or cow’s milk.
Although its fat content is high, a one-ounce serving of buratta has only 90 calories as opposed to a one-ounce serving of cheddar which has about 114 calories. About 70 percent of the content of buratta cheese is fat. The rest of the calories come from protein. Buratta contains about 4 grams of saturated fat and 20 milligrams of cholesterol per ounce. That’s 20 percent of your daily intake of fat and 7 percent of your recommended cholesterol limit. Therefore, when eating buratta you should make the rest of the meal relatively low fat.
Remember, it is not what you eat, but how much you eat of what you eat that counts.
However, buratta is a good source of calcium and supplies about 4 percent of your daily vitamin A needs. And since it is a good source of fat and cholesterol it supplies the good fat your sex hormones need to stay healthy and active.
Cholesterol is actually a crystalline substance consisting of fats. It is found naturally in the brain, nerves, liver, blood and bile of humans and vertebrate animals. Cholesterol is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. It is produced mainly in the liver. It is used by the cells to build membranes. It is also used by the sex hormones and to aid digestion.
There are good fats and bad fats. Fats and lipids are needed for energy and are better sources than protein or carbohydrates. We need added fats in our diets because fats also carry the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K. Now our sex hormones need all of these vitamins to function properly. The problem with fat is getting too much of it from the wrong source.
Cheese is a form of animal fat. It does provide a great source of calcium and protein. In moderation non- processed cheese is actually a healthy food. Cheese is one of the oldest foods and for many countries a staple in the diet.
Estrogen and testosterone depend upon a certain amount of fat and cholesterol to keep the hormone production healthy. The key is to eat in moderation and when eating a rich food like buratta cheese, eat it as part of a dinner salad. That way we get things just the way we like them… solid on the outside and soft, sweet, and creamy on the inside. Sexy!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Have a happy day!
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Saturday, November 07, 2015
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
We all have a love/hate relationship with pasta. We love to eat it, but hate it because we believe it is the cause of weight gain and a chubby belly. It gives us energy, fills us up and makes us feel warm and relaxed; but when it comes to dieting pasta is the first thing we dump. Is that fair to dump poor pasta after having such a loving affair?
Pasta is a carbohydrate. Our brain needs carbohydrates to fuel it. Current dietary guidelines call for 65% of our daily diet to be made up of complex carbohydrates.
It’s not the carbohydrates that cause weight gain, but the amount of food we eat and the sedentary lifestyles we live. We are all too quick to blame certain foods like pasta for our downfall; but isn’t that the way it is with love? As soon as love gets heavy we blame the love and not the gluttony.
Pasta is usually served with a good supply of vegetables, beans or lean meats and a light sauce with cheese. With the right portion we can get a complete meal supplying all the essential nutrients we need to stay healthy. The secret….eat your pasta meal with a light salad and finish with a light dessert. Enjoy one glass of wine with the meal. Adding an extra glass of wine, bread and an additional portion of the pasta dish is what adds the calories and thus the pounds.
Pasta is very low in sodium and is cholesterol free. Per cup enriched pasta provides a good source of essential nutrients such as iron and several B vitamins. Whole wheat pasta can add about 25% of your daily fiber requirements. Enriched pasta is fortified with folic acid. FDA regulations require enriched grain products to contain this essential vitamin.
Foods that supply glucose and B vitamins to the brain are responsible for improving our memory, focus and alertness. And what do we need to fall in love? First we need memory to keep us thinking about all those stolen moments of romantic rendezvous. Then we need to be focused on the object of our desire. Without focus desire wanes and boredom ensues. And third we need to be alert to the loving gestures, glances and touches that makes us fall in love. Pasta works so hard to keep us falling in love.
Remember One -Hundred and One Damnation and the love scene when the two Dalmatians are slurping the same strand of spaghetti and their lips meet? May-be it’s the Italian ambience and the good rustic wine, mixed with a warm pasta meal that brings all the romance into play, but without the pasta would an Italian meal be a meal? Would romance be romance without love?
Everyone whether vegetarian, vegan or carnivore can enjoy a meal with pasta as the base. Something about it makes us feel warm, loved and content. Something about pasta continually draws us back to it even after taking leave. Don’t hate the pasta. Don’t blame it for those extra pounds. Give it a break and try it with vegetables, a salad and a glass of wine. Eat slowly and savors it’s soft and creamy texture and who knows you might just fall in love all over again!